Fulvio RobertiApril 18, 1927 ~ December 26, 2015
Fulvio was born in Lucrezia, Italy on April 18, 1927, the oldest of four children. He grew up amongst olive trees and vineyards in a large extended family, Italian-style. After serving in the navy, he drove trucks throughout Italy, from the Alps to Italy’s toe. He left Italy to seek adventure in Canada after seeing newsreels of the great forests of British Columbia. He arrived in Toronto in 1954 and worked with his brother Carlo until 1956 when the opportunity arose to work in the Yukon for United Keno Hill Mines. He had no idea what was in store for him. He arrived in Calumet with a group of friends in October 1956 with the idea of staying for one year. After one winter, his friends all packed up and left, but Fulvio wanted to stay so that he could experience a Yukon summer. Well, summer turned out to be 59 years and the Yukon became his home.
Fulvio always had a soft spot for nurses. He broke his knee cap one winter while skiing and at the Mayo Hospital met the love of his life, Alla. Fulvio’s reputation as a romancer of nurses preceded him and the matron warned Alla to stay away from that Italian. He would drive down to Mayo from Calumet to see her, the bitter cold doing nothing to stop him. Alla would walk up the road to meet him, sometimes walking for miles. Often, Don and Cecile Curry’s dog would accompany her, acting as her chaperone . He loved opera and had an extensive collection of opera records. He would bring them to Alla to listen to. One evening Alla was lying on the living room floor of the nurses’ residence, listening to “Il Trovatore” when the matron walked in. At that moment she must have realized that it was too late. In May 1963 they were married in Mayo. They spent their honeymoon travelling in Europe and upon their return they moved to a little house in Calumet where their children, Manuela and Lorenzo were born. In 1967 the family moved to Elsa and a year later their son, Damien was born.
Over the years, Fulvio became a man of many hats. He was a plumber, a refrigerator man, a fire chief, an icemaker at the Elsa Curling Rink and was involved for years with Mine Rescue training. He loved to fix things that were broken and never hesitated to lend a helping hand when it was needed. Most importantly, he was the “lead tenor” at the Mount Haldane Lions Club and became known as the “Singing Plumber”.
Fulvio was very proud when he received the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal (1987) and First Bar (1992) awarded by the Governor General. He was also given the Yukon Curling Association Award in 1983 for his contribution to curling in the Yukon. He was officially thanked by the Yukon Salmon Committee for his outstanding effort and commitment in maintaining the safety of the United Keno Hill Mine Site, an honour he was also very proud of.
Fulvio loved fishing and travelling around the Yukon with his family. He spent many evenings in his basement making homemade wine and beer and over the years became a wild mushroom aficionadoaficionado. Perhaps his greatest love, besides his family, was his garden and his greenhouses. He would spend hours tending to his plants during the long summer days.
He stayed on in Elsa after the mine shut down in January 1989. In November 1989 Alla passed away and Fulvio had to learn how to fend for himself. He learned how to cook and quickly became a renowned “chef”. Over the years he cooked countless meals for family, friends and travellers. He loved to cook for people, and became famous for his lasagna and chicken cacciatore (he never made one without the other). His meals were always accompanied by lots of wine, his stories and his great generosity of spirit.
In 2001 he moved to Mayo and continued his tradition of hospitality and generosity. He quickly grew to love Mayo and its people.
In 2009, he welcomed his son-in-law, Herb (The Golden Child) to the family and in October 2014 Fulvio moved to Whitehorse. His spirit remained and always will remain in the Heart of the Yukon.
Fulvio will be dearly missed by his family and his many friends near and far.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 2 at 1:00 pm at Sacred Heart Cathedral with interment to follow at Grey Mountain Cemetery. We invite all who knew him to join his family in The General Store at The Gold Rush Inn after the service from 4:00-7:00 pm to celebrate his life. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that you make a donation to your favourite charity.